Hyundai, Kia say they’re not in talks with Apple on autonomous cars

Reuters Seoul | Updated on February 08, 2021

In early January, shares in both automakers surged after Hyundai had said it was in talks with Apple to develop autonomous vehicles

South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co said on Monday it is not now in talks with Apple Inc on autonomous electric vehicles, sending the automaker’s shares skidding a month after it said it was in early-stage talks on cars with the tech giant.

Shares in Hyundai and its affiliate Kia Corp slumped 6.6 per cent and 14 per cent respectively as of 0204 GMT while the broader market KOSPI benchmark dropped 1 per cent.

In separate regulatory filings, Hyundai and Kia both said, “We are not having talks with Apple on developing autonomous vehicles.”

Also read: On auto drive

In early January, shares in both automakers surged after Hyundai said, “Apple and Hyundai are in discussion, but as it is at early stage, nothing has been decided.” So far this year, Hyundai shares have surged more than 20 per cent, while Kia has rocketed 40 per cent on reports they may build an Apple car.

The comment came in response to a local media report that Apple and Hyundai were in discussions to develop self-driving electric vehicles by 2027 and develop batteries at US factories operated by either Hyundai or Kia.

But the automaker backtracked the same day, releasing subsequent statements that removed all mentions of Apple but said Hyundai was “getting requests for cooperation on joint development of autonomous electric vehicles from various companies”, without identifying any of them.

Apple has never acknowledged talks with the automaker about building vehicles, and wasn’t immediately available for comment outside business hours in the United States.

Also read: Apple Car may not be launched before 2027: Report

Reuters reported in December that Apple was moving forward with autonomous car technology and aimed to produce a passenger vehicle that could include its own breakthrough battery technology as early as 2024.

Published on February 08, 2021

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